Fate of old Fire Station 38 to be decided by City Council; public comment period begins

Now that the new Fire Station 38 (4004 NE 55th St) fully operational, it’s time to determine the fate of the old one (5503 33rd Ave NE).

Your new house?

From today’s press release (from the City of Seattle’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services; emphasis mine):

With new facilities now in operation, the Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) will recommend to the City Council the sale of two historic former fire stations: Fire Station 37 in West Seattle and Fire Station 38 in Ravenna Bryant.

Proceeds from the sale of the two properties – through a competitive process for fair market value – would be returned to the Fire Facilities and Emergency Response Levy Fund. The levy program includes land sale proceeds in its funding plan.

FAS has published its recommendation, and is collecting comments for 30 days.  FAS will then transmit its recommendation, based on the formal evaluation called for in Council Resolution 29799 and amended by Resolution 30862, to the Council. The City Council is expected to consider the future of the buildings as early as June.

If sold, the Fire Facilities and Emergency Response Levy Fund (which paid for the new fire station’s construction) could be refilled to the tune of a million dollars — the property was appraised at just over a million dollars in 2009, according to King County property records.

The building itself was granted landmark status in 2004; therefore, changes in the structure are limited and the city’s Historic Preservation Program must be contacted prior. (Read the full Seattle Fire Station No. 38 Landmark Nomination Report (pdf; 26 pages!) for more information on the history of the Fire Station 38 and the surrounding neighborhood.)

Comments about the sale of old Fire Station 38 are due by May 18, and will be incorporated into documentation presented to the City Council. Send your comments to Rich Gholaghong via phone (684‐0701), by e‐mail (richard.gholaghong@seattle.gov) or by regular mail (Rich Gholaghong, FAS Real Estate Services, P.O. Box 94689, Seattle WA 98124‐4689).


At the FAS’s Real Estate Services’ homepage, a variety of documents detailing the sale recommendations and next steps are available. I have also linked to them here, for your convenience:

New Fire Station Open House TODAY, 11AM-1PM

It’s time to give the staff at Fire Station 38 a warm welcome to their new digs. (Well, not TOO warm.)

New Fire Station 38 (4004 NE 55th St.) will open its doors to the public today from 11AM-1PM for an Open House and Dedication.

From the Seattle Fire Department’s event calendar:

Take tours of the new fire station, view the fire engine, meet your local firefighters and learn about fire safety in multiple languages. Children’s activities will be planned throughout the day, as well as chances to win life-saving door prizes. Refreshments provided by Local 27 and Top Pot Doughnuts.

An architect from Schreiber Starling & Lane Architects may also be there to answer questions about the design of the building.


For more information about the Old Fire Station 38 and her fate, visit our earlier post here.

Tour Old Station 38 on Saturday, tour New Station 38 in March

Fire stations all over the city of Seattle will open their doors to their neighborhoods this Saturday, February 12, from 11am-2pm, as a part of the Seattle Department of Neighborhood’s 17th Annual Neighbor Appreciation Day. There will also be activities for the kids, face painting, refreshments and a free raffle. The Seattle Fire Department and the Firefighter’s Union, Local 27 will be co-sponsoring the event.

This will be our neighborhood’s last chance to visit Fire Station 38 (5503 33rd Ave NE) while it houses fire fighters: Staff will start moving in to the new station down the hill (4004 NE 55th St) next week.

And what will become of the old station? I got the 911 411 from Seattle Fire Department spokeswoman, Helen Fitzpatrick:

[H]ere is the information I received from the City’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services. The City intends to sell the old station most likely through a competitive bid process.  The prospective buyer will need to be aware that the building has historical protection and the zoning is limited to multi-family use (this can also be for a single residence as well).  Any use outside of what is allowed through zoning would need the okay from the City’s Department of Planning and Development.  Any alterations to the outside of the building would require an okay from the Landmarks Preservation Committee.  Any alterations that could change the character of the building, specifically the front façade and the hose tower would be prohibited.

As we noted in an earlier post, a 2009 appraisal of the property came in at just over a million dollars. However, a competitive bidding process could make the old station more affordable. Money from the sale of the property will go back into the Fire Facilities and Emergency Response Levy fund (which made the upgrading of Station 38 possible).

Fire Station 38 is one of 22 landmark status properties and/or objects in Northeast Seattle (full list here), and was nominated and granted this status in 2004. If you have the time, I would encourage you to read the full Seattle Fire Station No. 38 Landmark Nomination Report (pdf; 26 pages!). It is CHOCK full of history, not only of the station itself, but our entire area.

Now, walk down the street (to the east) with me…

View Old and New Fire Station 38 in a larger map

As I mentioned above, the new Station 38 will start the move-in process next week. And after the staff has had some time to move in and get acquainted with the new building, the public will have a chance to do the same. (Well, not the move in part.)

Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 12, 11am-2pm 1pm, when Seattle Fire Department staff (and the new station’s architect, whom I met on the property today, by happy coincidence) will be on hand to welcome the public to their new fire station give us a tour. A postcard invitation in the mail in the next several weeks.